In 1940, California was where the first McDonald's opened. It became well-known quickly for its tasty hamburgers and friendly service. Eight years later, it was one of the first places to switch from traditional table service to fast food. It added new kinds of burgers and milkshakes to its menu. The success of the development led the company to sign its first franchise agreement in 1952, which led to rapid growth worldwide. The company runs about 40,031 restaurants worldwide, and sales in other countries brought in about $21.076 billion in 2019.

McDonald's marketing strategy has helped the company achieve the success it commands today. From the start of its growth, the company wanted to build strong brand recognition and market penetration to help promote its growing franchise business. As the company's number of customers grew, they did more research on demographics to help them target easily. McDonald's marketing strategy includes investing in online and offline marketing methods that spread its clear, brand-centered messages to a large audience and using other channels like its dedicated mobile app to reach and keep loyal customers.

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Mcdonald's Consumer Profile

McDonald's has a wide range of customers because it uses mass marketing and has low prices at fast-food restaurants. Most of the chain's customers are between 35 and 54. Buyers, both men and women, often have low to average incomes. They are known as brand-loyal casual diners who spend an average of $7.79 each time they eat.

Many of these customers are parents of young children who like that the brand's atmosphere and food are good for families. This market group was first targeted in 1979 when Happy Meal, a set of children's meals with a free-themed toy, was introduced. 

McDonald's website wants to create a "pleasant, entertaining environment for everyone to enjoy." This shows how many different kinds of people it wants to attract. The brand does primary market research to determine how to market itself and make sure it fits the demographics of the people it wants to reach. McDonald's uses surveys and questionnaires in stores, on social media, and through its mobile app to find out how happy customers are with the food, service, delivery, and other things. McDonald's Community and other digital channels are always being watched to keep track of what customers say and do.

Mcdonald's Advertising Strategy 

McDonald's spends a lot of money on billboards and TV ads. In 2018, the company spent nearly $1.5 billion on advertising in the US alone. Outdoor, TV, and radio ads aren't likely to reach many people, so digital marketing strategies are used to send consistent information to people who aren't likely to see or hear the ads.

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Promotion for Broadcast

McDonald's marketing strategy uses TV and radio to get the word out about its brand and promote new menu items, meal discounts, and charitable work. Its broadcast channels and times are chosen so that most people will watch or listen. In November 2018, when the NFL season was at its peak popularity, McDonald's is expected to have spent $52.9 million on TV ads in the United States. This shows the importance of the fast-food chain getting the most prominent broadcast ad positions.

Billboard Ads

McDonald's has a lot of traditional billboard ads, which have the same marketing goals and content as its TV ads. With billboards that range from static to digitally interactive and are placed in high-visibility, high-traffic areas, the company tries to keep its target demographic and other connected consumer groups thinking positively about its brand.

This is a great example of how multiple ways to promote the same goals can make the campaign more successful compared to campaigns that only use one method.

Outdoor Ambient Marketing

McDonald's also does creative and interesting outdoor ambient marketing. Ambient advertising is when promotional materials are put in places or on things that are very unusual or unexpected or that aren't usually used for advertising. McDonald's is using this type of guerrilla marketing to make more of an impact on customers. McDonald's campaign shows this for its "Massive McMuffin Breakfast." During the whole year of 2010, the company put up big paper takeout bags with the name of its new breakfast item on major streets in New Zealand. The unexpected and hard-to-miss image got a lot of attention from people walking by, as shown by the many photos of the scene people took and shared on social media. This helped promote the McMuffin breakfast.

The brand's street markings at pedestrian road crossings are another example. They are meant to look like fries sticking out of a McDonald's-branded package of fries.

McDonald's Digital Marketing Strategy

Online advertising helps the brand reach its goals of building brand awareness and creating demand. The information used online is similar to what you might see in a McDonald's TV ad or on a billboard. However, both the language and the graphics are made to work best on the social media platforms used, such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. By asking customers to post pictures of their meals online, McDonald's takes advantage of the growing food photography trend. In fact, between September 2018 and February 2019, 4,9 million logos of McDonald's were posted on Twitter around the world. This made McDonald's the second most pictured brand.

The company also works on search engine optimization (SEO), but its "organic" SEO method does better than "sponsored" promotion. As of December 2019, 90.7% of the search traffic to mcdonalds.com came from natural search results, while 9.3% came from sponsored keywords.

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McDonald's marketing strategy in the digital medium includes customer interactions through social media like Facebook and Instagram. The customers interact with the brand and with each other on social media. Also, the company offers various discounts and coupons through their social media pages and the company app. McDonald's was one of the few companies that performed well during the 2000s recession. The reason for the success was that the company communicated its strategy to the consumers.

McDonald's digital marketing strategy allowed the company to fight back rumours circulating on social media in 2018. The company got  a Long Term Excellence Award from the Marketing Society. The company responded directly to the allegations that it faced and was able to get its message out in the open. 

Conclusion

McDonald's marketing strategy across the various offline and online methods has allowed the company to maintain its leadership position in the fast-food business. The target audience is families that allow most of the population to feel comfortable at the restaurant. McDonald's marketing strategy across the digital channels helps the company communicate clearly and directly.

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About the Author

Rahul ArunRahul Arun

Rahul is a Senior Research Analyst at Simplilearn. Blockchain, Cloud Computing, and Machine Learning are some of his favorite topics of discussion. Rahul can be found listening to music, doodling, and gaming.

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